The begging continues

From Scout:

I thought the levee funding had been decided when on April 12th Donald Powell announced this

Federal recovery Donald Powell said President Bush would ask Congress for another $2.5 billion to improve levees in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and St. Charles which protect 98 percent of the local population.

But Bush has not requested the $2.5 billion for levees yet….

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., however, said he is urging the administration to add another request: at least “a substantial down payment” on the $2.5 billion needed to bring the levees around metropolitan New Orleans up to 100-year flood protection standards. The money isn’t currently part of the spending bill, and Vitter said the administration request is needed to get lawmakers to go along.

“I’m hopeful that will be done,” Vitter said, noting that time is of the essence with the Senate scheduled to take up the $109 billion spending bill as early as today.

The $2.5 billion doesn’t include protection for Plaquemines Parish, which the administration said is still under review.

An official said Monday that the administration is nearing a decision on how much to ask for in the supplemental spending bill for levee upgrades and that the announcement will be made “once a few more pieces drop into place.”

UPDATE: Bush has now formally made the request